Senate Democrats have pushed to halt proceedings until the dust settles on the presidential contest in November, citing a precedent set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2016 when he refused to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, then-President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. But along with sturdier support for Barrett’s confirmation, voters are also increasingly more likely to say the Senate should move quickly on her nomination.
A new national poll shows Americans support the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett by double-digit margins.
A new Morning Consult poll shows Americans support Barrett on a 46-31% margin and that 15% margin of support is an increase from the polling firms last national survey in September following her nomination. That poll had Americans backing Barrett 37-34%, a resulting 12% increase from the 3% margin previously.
“Democrats are losing the Supreme Court messaging war, new polling indicates, with support for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation trending in the GOP’s direction,” the polling firm indicated. “Nearly half (46 percent) of voters in an Oct. 2-4 Morning Consult/Politico poll said the Senate should confirm Barrett — up 9 percentage points since President Donald Trump announced her nomination on Sept. 26 — as more voters say the chamber should consider her elevation to the high court as soon as possible, regardless of who wins next month’s election.”
Seventy-seven percent of GOP voters back Barrett’s confirmation, up 6 points from late last month. Among independents, the share who said she should be confirmed increased 8 points, to 36 percent, while the share of Democratic voters who said she should be confirmed increased 10 points, to 24 percent.
Forty-three percent said the Senate should vote on Barrett’s confirmation as soon as possible, regardless of the 2020 election’s winner, up 4 points since after Trump’s announcement, while 37 percent said the chamber should only vote if Trump wins the 2020 presidential election, down 3 points.
Even Democratic voters have softened their opposition to Barrett’s confirmation: The latest survey found 59 percent said the Senate should wait to see who wins the election, compared with 79 percent who said in the wake of Ginsburg’s death that the election winner should pick the next justice.
It’s not as if Barrett’s nomination is flying completely under the radar. Though 1 in 5 voters initially heard “a lot” about it, that share had doubled just a few days later following the first presidential debate.
Barrett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, believes life begins at conception and has noted how both pro-life and pro-abortion legal experts have criticized Roe v. Wade as a bad decision. Barrett criticized the ruling for “ignit[ing] a national controversy” through judicial fiat.
Though her judicial rulings on abortion are few, she did rule in support of two Indiana pro-life laws during her time on the Seventh Circuit. She also has made several statements about the value of babies in the womb. According to the Law and Crime blog, Barrett signed a public letter in 2015 that emphasized “the value of human life from conception to natural death.”
Judge Amy Barrett was number one on the Supreme Court wish list for most pro-life voters and she was also the first potential high court nominee to get an in-person meeting with President Donald Trump. That’s not a surprising considering the president previous said he was “saving her” for an appointment to the Supreme Court should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire or pass away.
Barrett, a mother of seven, was a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia. Like Scalia, Barrett describes herself as an “originalist” judge.
When it comes to abortion cases, Barrett has been on the pro-life side. She voted in 2016 to allow a hearing on a pro-life law from the state of Indiana that requires abortion centers to offer a proper burial or cremation for babies they kill in abortions. And in 2019, she voted to allow a hearing on another Indiana pro-life law allowing parents to be notified when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion so they can help her make a better decision for her and her baby.